Chicken broth is deemed as one of the most nutritious and health-boosting foods in China. Its nutrition and flavor can be further enhanced by adding various herbs and vegetables. Chicken broth is easy for the body to digest, so it is perfect for those who are recovering from sickness and those who need to gain energy quickly.
In China, people prefer using clay pots than regular pots to cook chicken broth. Clay pots allow even heat distribution and slow gentle cooking, which can retain the best flavor and nutrition of the soup. Once you start to use a clay pot for chicken broth, you don’t want to go back.
It is really simple to make chicken broth using a clay pot.
Clay Pot Chicken Broth
- Half chicken (rinse well and cut into several pieces)
- 4-5 slices of ginger
- ½ cup sliced scallion
- 2 pieces of star anise
- 1 tsp Chinese cooking wine
- Several pieces of dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 20-30 minutes before use) (optional)
- A pinch of dried goji berries (optional)
- A pinch of American ginseng (optional)
Put chicken pieces in the pot and add water to cover the chicken by about 3 inches (adjust based on the size of the pot).
Bring to a medium heat and when water boiling, skim the scum that rises to the surface.
Add ginger, scallion, star anise, shiitake mushrooms, ginseng and cooking wine. Reduce heat to very gentle simmer for 1 hour.
Add goji berries and continue to simmer for 30-40 minutes until the soup is thickened and well flavored. Add some salt when serving.
*Keep the pot cover on while cooking.
The pot I used (as shown in the picture above; 5.3 Liter) was purchased from China. Amazon has a very similar one of the same size (two colors).
M.V. Trading MV-CLP6 Stoneware Chinese Cooking Pot, White, 6-Quart
M.V. Trading MV-CLP6 Stoneware Chinese Cooking Pot, Black, 6-Quart
I added three nutritious ingredients to my clay pot chicken broth — ginseng, goji berry and shiitake mushrooms, but those are optional. All these three ingredients are frequently used for Chinese-style chicken soup.
American ginseng is a great herb to improve the immune system and prevent infections. Here’s more information about American ginseng.
Goji berries are known for their benefits of providing antioxidants, improving eye health, and keeping energy. It can be added to tea, soup, and porridge. Here’s more information about goji berries.
Shiitake mushrooms, as part of the mushroom family, is seen as an anti-aging food. They have fuller taste comparing with fresh ones, making them an excellent ingredient for Chinese-style soups. Here’s more information about Shiitake mushrooms.